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Fashion Designer

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This listening exercise is about a fashion designer talking about his career. This a multiple-choice listening exercise for Part 4 of the B1 Preliminary Listening Test. This gives you practice before you take the Cambridge English B1 Preliminary exam. 

fashion designer

B1 Preliminary Listening Test Part 4 – Fashion Designer

You will hear a successful fashion designer talking about his career.


QuestionsAudio Script

1. How well did the speaker do at school?

2. What did he do when he left school?

3. What did he learn from his part-time job?

4. When did he go to London?

5. How long did he stay in Milan?

6. Why did he have difficulties in New York?


Fashion designer: I’m quite often asked how I got into fashion. For me, it was something I always wanted to do. However, because my mother was a university teacher and my father a headmaster, they found it hard to accept that fashion could be a serious career. I wasn’t bad at school, I mean I was a typical student, passed enough exams and so on, and they could understand I might want to go to art college, but fashion just wasn’t a serious subject for them.

Anyway, they said I had to do a year’s business course first. I didn’t like it at the time, but later, it made a big difference to me. For example, when I started my art college course, I could use a word processor, I knew about managing money, I had an idea of how to talk about business. None of the other students had that. And the other thing I did during that year was to get a part-time job in the office of a small factory making good-quality clothes. The pay was awful, but I learnt a lot there about that end of the industry, so I began to understand what’s possible and what isn’t. I mean, by watching people, I realised what you can and can’t do with different types of cloth, what takes a long time to make on a sewing machine, you know.

Then I did two years at the local art college. I wanted to go to London straight away, but my parents insisted. I think they thought I was too young, I was still only seventeen by then, but in the end, it was cost. London is a very expensive place for a student. So I stayed at home until I won a prize for a design which actually gave me a place at a London college for nine months. There, I was able to make a lot of useful contacts – I was already working for an Italian fashion house three months before I left. I went on to spend three wonderful years in Milan, then I got the job in New York for a year, which was really exciting, but unbelievably stressful. I think probably because I was too far away from my family, more than any actual problems with the work itself. So, I ended up in London, starting my own company, which is stressful in a different way, but really I enjoy it very much.

More exercises available for B1 Preliminary Part 4:

We add listening and speaking exercises in order to practise for this part of the B1 Preliminary test.

Part 3 - Gap-Filled Exercise

The B1 Preliminary Speaking test has four parts and you take it together with another candidate. There are two examiners. One of the examiners talks to you and the other examiner listens.

In addition, we add reading and writing exercises on a regular basis. Why not bookmark our site, so you can come back to practice anywhere or at any time of the day?

Part 1 - Read five real-world notices, messages and other short texts for the main message.

Part 2 - Match five descriptions of people to eight short texts on a particular topic, showing detailed comprehension.

Part 3 - Read a longer text for detailed comprehension, gist, inference and global meaning, as well as writer’s attitude and opinion.

Part 4 - Read a longer text from which five sentences have been removed. Show understanding of how a coherent and well-structured text is formed.

Write about 100 words, answering the email and notes provided.

The more words you encounter and understand, the broader your day-to-day vocabulary will become. Our word games and puzzles are an excellent way to help to reinforce spellings in your mind.
Especially helpful are exercises that are focussed on a theme or topic as these provide word retention practice so you can be confident to read, write, speak and listen successfully.

Cambridge English Examinations:

Cambridge English exams are designed for learners at all levels from the pre-intermediate level Cambridge English: Key (KET) to the very advanced level Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE). These exams give candidates proof of their ability to use English in a wide variety of contexts, relevant to work, study and leisure activities.

A2 Key | B1 Preliminary | B2 First

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